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Old 02-28-2016, 09:50 PM   #41
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+1 . Before I retired, we tackled housework the same way - 10 minutes of sustained effort then done until the next day. It is amazing how much can be accomplished when working, as opposed to procrastinating.


+1 Listen to travelover. He/she is RIGHT!

I detest housework. Am not much of a packrat; but my hate for cleaning means that stuff easily stacks up, and gets worse the more I procrastinate.

But tackling a little every day does make a difference. If I can just straighten up one room, it looks really good. Then sometimes (but ONLY sometimes) that will motivate me to tackle a second room.

If people are coming over, for some reason, that will motivate me to tackle the whole first floor.

But, left to my one devices? Nope. It wouldn't happen.

travelover's idea does work, when I make myself do it!

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Old 02-29-2016, 07:55 AM   #42
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But tackling a little every day does make a difference. If I can just straighten up one room, it looks really good. Then sometimes (but ONLY sometimes) that will motivate me to tackle a second room.



This is my tactic. I have a routine for which room(s) I clean every day. Today it's my office and the guest bedroom. Four days a week, 1 to 1.5 hours, two-week cycle. Cleaning includes de-cluttering and putting away. So, if a room looks bad I don't get crazy because I know it will get cleaned from top to bottom in less than two weeks. It helps that there are no pets or kids in the house.
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Old 02-29-2016, 09:57 AM   #43
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we'll need to let somebody in the house, something that we haven't allowed for several years.

I would definitely consider some of the earlier responses about some professional counselling or support. The quoted part above strikes me that this is not just a lot of clutter, and won't be solved with your best efforts at cleaning.

Most of us can relate to stuff we need to toss, and piles here and there of things that need going thru, kitchen junk drawers, etc. But never allowing anyone in your home means this needs much more.

Best of luck to you.
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Old 03-26-2016, 11:47 AM   #44
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So, gindie, where are we with: "I've got way too much stuff in my house."
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Old 03-26-2016, 12:04 PM   #45
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1-800-GOTJUNK may be an option. I am moving out of my 5 bedroom house in mid-April and I've been slowly packing for a month. Everything I didn't want, I literally THREW into the middle of the garage (which also needed clearing). I mean dressers, headboards, old electronics, garbage, everything! They came and loaded it all up and went upstairs to get a couple of large, heavy items. They will literally walk around the house with you and take out everything you point to.

It cost me $500 but so, so worth it! As I pack more I find more things I don't need so will probably have them back one more time.
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Old 03-26-2016, 12:27 PM   #46
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Well, I've been through this myself (when selling our house no less). It took a monumental effort and a year. Ultimately, we had to write off whole sections of the house and have junkers come in and move everything out.

We did save the most important & valuable items, and found some long lost things / pictures / treasures. However, there was tons of other stuff that was thrown out or recycled. 3 20 yard dumpsters. numerous trips to recycling & good will.

It was very important early on to identify areas of resistance to getting rid of stuff. Was it the value of the items? The sentimental value? The rarity? It's amazing how
easily replaceable many things are... And how expensive it is to store everything.
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Old 03-26-2016, 12:41 PM   #47
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......It cost me $500 but so, so worth it! As I pack more I find more things I don't need so will probably have them back one more time.
Wow, really ?
You don't have garbage pick up ?

Here we throw out anything metal (old desk chair) and it's gone in 2 hours.
I threw out an above ground swimming pool, took it apart, put the liner in garbage bags for trash.
The metal I rolled up and it was gone in 1 hour (probably worth $60 to the guy who picked it up).

I suppose I understand the first time, but surely the second time the amounts are small.
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Old 03-26-2016, 03:11 PM   #48
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One thing I haven't heard mentioned is turning off the inflow of new stuff. Cleaning out is 50% of the deal. The other half is not refilling the house.

A few tips:

1. Set up a staging area. Create two piles: Donate and Trash
2. Take photos of sentimental items. That way you can keep the memories!
3. Arrange for trash and/or donation pickup. It's okay to do several rounds.
4. New rule: Everything you keep must have a specific place to live. Every fork, photo, and sweater deserves a "home" or it's gotta go!
5. Once you've cleared an area, make it pretty so you will be less tempted to let it refill.
6. Imagine your home is brand new and you're furnishing it lightly with only what you need, starting with zero items. Then work towards that picture.
7. Be kind to yourself.
8. Admire photos of tidy well organized homes to get yourself pumped. I like the photos at Apartment Therapy online.

When I was younger I was a "clear a path through the junk on the floor to reach the door" level messy person. Now my home is tidy and minimalist. I didn't need therapy or drugs. I got better at letting things go. I bet you can too.

Asking for help can be good (and is sometimes necessary) but not everyone with an overly messy house has a mental illness.



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Old 03-26-2016, 03:29 PM   #49
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Wow, really ?
You don't have garbage pick up ?

Here we throw out anything metal (old desk chair) and it's gone in 2 hours.
I threw out an above ground swimming pool, took it apart, put the liner in garbage bags for trash.
The metal I rolled up and it was gone in 1 hour (probably worth $60 to the guy who picked it up).

I suppose I understand the first time, but surely the second time the amounts are small.
Yes, have garbage pickup but only 1 small can service since it's just me so there isn't a whole lot I can throw out each week. When my father passed and left a house full of 50 years of accumulation (he liked to thrift shop), we put everything out on a blanket on the lawn. It was gone the next morning.

I just don't have time or want to deal with multiple trips to donate or dumps. Sometimes the easiest way to pay is with money.
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Old 03-26-2016, 04:45 PM   #50
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I gave up long ago. I have lived out of a suitcase for years and kept coming home to more stuff. Maybe we are starting to clear out stuff now that we are remodelling.

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Old 03-26-2016, 05:03 PM   #51
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Absolutely........

[QUOTE=ShortInSeattle;1712602]One thing I haven't heard mentioned is turning off the inflow of new stuff. Cleaning out is 50% of the deal. The other half is not refilling the house.



TRULY..........I am trying to make this a new goal: little to no new stuff. I will enjoy the Christmas gifts; and treat myself to CD's of local music and tiny souvenirs when traveling (but they have to fit into my one carry-on suitcase). I will still keep some cards and letters.

But after 3 years of downsizing (to move from 3,000 sq. ft. to 1,700 sq. ft.), I never want to do it again. I refused to look at any condo with a basement. (It took 3 years to clear out the one I had.)

I'll shop now for gifts for others. I don't need anything.........except the freedom of living in a smaller space with less stuff.

(Plus, reduced shopping leaves more cash for travel.........which I hope to NOT limit!)
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Old 03-27-2016, 05:12 PM   #52
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If you have a good friend that is good at cleaning things out then I would enlist his/her help. I had a few friends with houses like this that I helped them clean them out. I also helped them have huge sales and we made quite a bit of $. Then once things are clean for every item you bring in a like one must go out. This works especially well with clothing. Also keep a donate box in a corner and put things in there as you find them. Also many of the thrift stores will send a truck to take a bunch of stuff or big items. WE did this after we were done with the garage sales. Good luck)
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Old 03-28-2016, 02:49 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by ShortInSeattle View Post
One thing I haven't heard mentioned is turning off the inflow of new stuff. Cleaning out is 50% of the deal. The other half is not refilling the house.

A few tips:

1. Set up a staging area. Create two piles: Donate and Trash
2. Take photos of sentimental items. That way you can keep the memories!
3. Arrange for trash and/or donation pickup. It's okay to do several rounds.
4. New rule: Everything you keep must have a specific place to live. Every fork, photo, and sweater deserves a "home" or it's gotta go!
5. Once you've cleared an area, make it pretty so you will be less tempted to let it refill.
6. Imagine your home is brand new and you're furnishing it lightly with only what you need, starting with zero items. Then work towards that picture.
7. Be kind to yourself.
8. Admire photos of tidy well organized homes to get yourself pumped. I like the photos at Apartment Therapy online.

When I was younger I was a "clear a path through the junk on the floor to reach the door" level messy person. Now my home is tidy and minimalist. I didn't need therapy or drugs. I got better at letting things go. I bet you can too.

Asking for help can be good (and is sometimes necessary) but not everyone with an overly messy house has a mental illness.



SIS

Great tips
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Old 03-28-2016, 04:45 AM   #54
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I'm always a little disturbed by the intensely negative reactions some people have to the idea of lots of stuff and clutter. People want the clutter-prone person to "get counseling." It's almost like neater people think they are saner, not to mention more virtuous.

While there is certainly a tipping point where clutter may turn into a health situation (e.g. so much stuff you are always tripping over it, or rats are nesting in it, etc.), and thus there are practical problems with being clutter-prone, I don't see anything morally "wrong" with clutter, as long as you yourself are OK with it.

Translation: Your messy house does not horrify me, as long as I can find you in it somewhere.

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Old 03-28-2016, 10:20 AM   #55
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I'm always a little disturbed by the intensely negative reactions some people have to the idea of lots of stuff and clutter. People want the clutter-prone person to "get counseling." It's almost like neater people think they are saner, not to mention more virtuous.

While there is certainly a tipping point where clutter may turn into a health situation (e.g. so much stuff you are always tripping over it, or rats are nesting in it, etc.), and thus there are practical problems with being clutter-prone, I don't see anything morally "wrong" with clutter, as long as you yourself are OK with it.

Translation: Your messy house does not horrify me, as long as I can find you in it somewhere.

Amethyst
That is a good point. And how many times did we see a little sign or hear someone at work proclaim that a clean desk is a sign of a sick mind? The OP can at least start by dealing with the environment, and perhaps also address the family dynamics as a separate issue.

Clutter in my own house drives me crazy (which actually probably is a mental health issue for me), but I don't even notice it in someone else's house. My working space however was and is a controlled clutter area.
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Old 03-28-2016, 10:42 AM   #56
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One man's clutter is another man's treasure, but the OP here said that it was becoming an issue in her home.

I find now that I am RE I have much less tolerance for "clutter" perhaps because I spend more time at home.
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Old 03-28-2016, 12:33 PM   #57
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So much good advice in this thread! We moved/downsized last fall, and had to purge or we wouldn't have been able to walk in our new home. Having a deadline helped (after we got the offer to buy ours) so maybe give yourself a fake deadline, like "we'll have this done by the end of summer" or something like that. Otherwise it just drags out and you accumulate more sh*t.

I am also a FlyLady advocate - I don't follow her religiously, but she has some great points. What you describe is CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome). If it would cause you this much angst to get your furnace repaired, my advice would be to get moving. I cannot tell you how liberating it was to move into this new house and actually have space left on shelves and in drawers and be able to see the basement floor, or the back of the closet.

You can do this!
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Old 03-28-2016, 05:16 PM   #58
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... I cannot tell you how liberating it was to move into this new house and actually have space left on shelves and in drawers and be able to see the basement floor, or the back of the closet...
I once saw the back of a closet. Entirely over-rated.
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Old 03-28-2016, 06:11 PM   #59
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My house has way to much in it too.... The new family rule: One thing in = 4 things out the door..... I really want to downsize anyway as I get older.

I spent the last 2 years cleaning out an estate and that really makes me think about whether I need to really hang on to stuff or not. Those 17 boxes of Mayo jars never really did anything except collect dust in the basement!!! Yep, it was like a previous poster mentioned - people who grew up during the depression and saved "everything". I at least manage to get the recycle and the trash bin at my house pretty full every time it picks up. I got a few boxes/bag of stuff to Goodwill this year already and will keep filling more as I have time to get it out over the summer!
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Old 03-28-2016, 08:32 PM   #60
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I once saw the back of a closet. Entirely over-rated.


And here I had been bragging about seeing some......
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